Senator Christopher “Bong” Go expressed his support for the proposed 2021 budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways and its attached corporations as he urges the department to ensure the completion of all its priority infrastructure projects before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte ends.
During a public hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Finance on Wednesday, October 14, Go said that the DPWH has been hands on in the rebuilding of the country since the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He particularly expressed his gratitude to the department for converting several public facilities into isolation sites and tent cities to cater to Persons Under Investigation and Persons Under Monitoring in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Despite the pandemic, Go called on DPWH Secretary Mark Villar to ensure that the targets they set are being met and that their projects are accomplished before the term of Duterte ends.
“Pakiusap ko lang po, Secretary Mark at sa lahat po ng Undersecretaries, Assistant Secretaries, Regional Directors down, pakiusap ko lang po, huwag tayong mag-iwan ng nakatiwangwang na proyekto bago matapos ‘yung termino ni Pangulong Duterte,” urged Go.
Go noted that DPWH must exert more efforts to meet targets of the administration’s infrastructure programs. “The department needs to act double time in their efforts to lengthen, widen, maintain and construct roads,” said Go.
“The department must also make sure that it is on top when it comes to mitigating flood and building disaster-resilient infrastructures,” he added.
The Senator said that the pandemic should not be a reason for projects to be stalled. “Alam ko po na malaki ang epekto ng pandemic sa construction activities ng DPWH pero hindi po iyon sapat na dahilan para hindi matapos ang mga proyekto at maiwan ng nakatiwangwang lamang.”
“Naniniwala ako sa kakayahan ng DPWH at kay Secretary Mark Villar na hindi niya (nila) ito hahayaang mangyari. Ipagpatuloy po natin ang pagbabayanihan, pagmamalasakit, at pagseserbisyo sa ating mga kababayan,” he said.
Go also mentioned that the infrastructure projects will have a huge impact on the lives of Filipinos as they will ensure their easy and safe access to their workplaces.
“Malaking tulong po sa kanila ang mga infrastructure projects dahil mas mabibigyan nito ang mga kababayan ng access papunta sa kanilang mga trabaho at mga tahanan ng matiwasay at ligtas. Masisiguro rin po nito na ligtas sa kapahamakan at trahedya ang ating mga kababayan,” he said.
Despite the noted delays and current challenges, the Senator expressed optimism that the Vision 2030 of the DPWH, which aims to improve the life of every Filipino through quality infrastructure, will be accomplished.
“Some of the goals of the department are to reduce travel time, increase road network capacity, improve road quality and safety, build disaster-resilient structures in calamity prone-areas, and construct new roads and bridges for a seamless transport system,” Go said.
He added that the goals will complement the continuing promise of President Rodrigo Duterte that he would do everything in his power to give the Filipinos a comfortable life wherever they are in the country.
Go also urged DPWH to focus on countryside development through the creation and improvement of quality infrastructure projects which will boost economic opportunities in the rural areas and decongest the urban areas.
“I laud the department for providing higher allocation of its capital outlay to the southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao regions. As a probinsyano, this warms my heart for I know that these infrastructure projects will pave the way for the development of the provinces, boost economic opportunities and investments in the countryside. This will also encourage Filipinos to return to their provinces,” Go said.
As the main proponent of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program of the government, Go has been urging national agencies to facilitate countryside development through their programs and projects in order to lure Filipinos into going back to their provinces.
Ending his statement, he reiterated his full support to DPWH.
“Full support po ako at congrats po kay Secretary Mark sa mga nagawa ninyo, kahit si Pangulo ay very impressed sa nagawa ninyong infrastructure, parati po niyang nababanggit ‘yan,” said Go.
“Salamat po sa inyong tulong, lalung-lalo na po sa pandemyang ito sa mga ginagawa ninyong quarantine facilities,” he ended. (OSBG)
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